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Simulation And Other Tools To Enhance Student Learning

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Program Delivery Methods & Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1016.1 - 8.1016.13



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Paper Authors

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Kenneth Ragsdell

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Halvard Nystrom

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2542

Simulation and Other Tools to Enhance Student Learning

Halvard E. Nystrom, Kenneth M. Ragsdell

University of Missouri-Rolla, Engineering Management


Simulations in various forms have been observed to be promising vehicles to enhance and stimulate student interest and learning. Since students exhibit different learning styles, and needs, they might react differently to simulation experiences. At the same time the conditions for application of simulations might be different for distance students compared to students in a traditional on-campus classroom protocol. The authors discuss the various decisions associated with the design and construction of appropriate learning environments based on their experience with a broad range of courses and simulation tools in Engineering Management. The efficacy of these various approaches is assessed by student surveys and instructor observations with respect to student learning styles and classroom protocols.


There is a growing need to enhance student learning effectiveness and efficiency in engineering education. Even though technological knowledge has been rapidly increasing, competition for students among universities has not allowed for expansion of the curricula. In fact, in many universities, the required load for graduation has been decreasing. One way to handle this dilemma is to focus more on the theory and fundamental issues in each class. This forces employers to do some of the training that was performed within the engineering schools 1. Another approach is to find ways to provide the students more learning in less time through more effective and efficient engineering programs. One way to provide this higher level of learning is by using additional tools and methods. Simulation is a promising educational tool that might help improve the learning environment.

Another trend in engineering education is an increase in the diversity of the student body. Due to explicit efforts to recruit underrepresented minorities into engineering, the needs for life-long learning, and the increasing participation of non-traditional students in the engineering programs, the students enrolled in any one class are more likely to have a wide range of knowledge, experience and backgrounds. These students are likely to have different learning styles, and different perception regarding many of the issues introduced in the classes. This is particularly true in engineering management classes since the students generally also have different engineering backgrounds and life experiences. Simulation has the potential of providing a more robust environment for learning and to provide common experiences to the students that can facilitate further learning as a class.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Ragsdell, K., & Nystrom, H. (2003, June), Simulation And Other Tools To Enhance Student Learning Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12068

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